Sarah Palin

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Many Europeans must have been mystified by Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, wondering how someone could have seemingly come from nowhere, walked into the American political consciousness and had such an immediate and powerful effect.

Certainly, her pro- gun-lobby, pro- Christian/creationist and anti-abortion stance are out of sync with  most European mentalities, while capturing the hearts of many Americans. But what about her lack of experience of high office at national level and lack of foreign experience?

But the central point must be that her story embodies elements that go deep into the American psyche. Someone out on the frontier, the little guy (gal) coming from nowhere and hitting the big-time with some home-spun speech (even if we really know it is from auto-cue, and with, no doubt, an army of scriptwriters). Someone whose family, looking like something from Little House on the Prairie, tag along for her big day. Someone whose rhythm and style of speech resonate with the sort of folk you can bump into in any Wal-Mart.

It’s a myth, but boy is it an American myth. And at times of uncertainty, our myths are what keep us going. Like it or not.

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2 Responses

  1. Tolmie Wachter says:

    Mr. Gates’ is on target regarding his observation that Sarah Palin’s story resonates with the American psyche. In a country accustomed to the recognition of success based upon individual merit rather than class and pedigree, it is not so much of a surprise to see someone advance from heading the local PTA to governing the state. It is amusing to watch the reaction of the EU to such manifestations of the American values of strong faith, individual responsibility and limited government. Regarding Mrs. Palin’s ability to assume the mantle power as vice president, and being a “heartbeat away” from the presidency, at least she has demonstrated executive experience and competency beyond that of her present competition. Southwest Airlines became successful in adopting a hiring credo that selected workforce candidates based upon attitude and competency, saying that “you could train to the rest”. As VP, like any executive, Mrs. Palin would have access to a tremendous pool of expertise from which to glean analysis. From that point she relies on sound judgment, the most important qualification.
    Despite the continuing trend toward globalization, nations seem to stubbornly hold on to their cultural proclivities. The nomination of relative newcomer Sarah Palin demonstrates a refreshing rebuke to political entrenchment and elitism. This is the same appeal (also never understood by Europeans) that Ronald Reagan offered in the 1980s. We look forward to this opportunity to hold off the trend of creeping socialist utopianism evidenced by environmental fanaticism, moral relativism and the silencing effects of political correctness as long as possible. Always appreciative of your organization and its blog.

  2. Mr. Chou says:

    what triggers me is that in America these days stopped selling the whole “land of freedom” concept, instead a new “land of opportunity” idea was introduced by the presidential candidates such as Obama. I mean America is in need of diversity tolerance on the political level. Sarah Palin and Obama are just some of the examples.
    But what if U.S. can’t maintain its supermacy in the next decade, will these people be the scapegoat for blaming? Anglo-saxon dominated societies still have this white-male centered belief. It was not the first places in the world for implementing gender equality on the political level(remember it is a Small nordic country) nor abolition of slavery: absurdly it was France the first one in 1780.
    I am not quite sure if the American mainstream (in the long run)are able to accept the fact that these minorities are taking over…
    Cultural values are hard to be changed within a single historical era. Research shows it remains almost intact even within three generations.

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